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Time Moves Slow: San Francisco to San Diego

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Time Moves Slow: San Francisco to San Diego

While I can’t recall when the seed of this idea was planted, by early spring our plan to escape the reality of 2020 by riding from San Francisco to San Diego was beginning to take root. The year had started upbeat as I’m sure is the case for most people at the beginning of most years, but before long it took a hard turn in the other direction. Starting with a whiplash-inducing breakup that led to moving back to my parents’ house outside of Denver; those events seem small now in the context of everything that followed. As Covid 19 swept the planet and most of humanity began to shelter in place, our collective grief and anxiety began to feel like the status quo. As the days passed at a glacial pace (that was somehow simultaneously lightning fast), the snow in Colorado melted and this idea began to sprout as the earth began to thaw. At the same time, my best friend was dealing with his own lockdown situation down in Baja. Lorenzo had moved down to Ensenada late in 2019 to open a Gelato place (appropriately named “El Gelato”) and was absolutely killing it in the gelato game, helped in no small part to being probably the only gelateria in all of Baja. But when Covid hit, it hit hard and the dusty little town he was calling home completely shut down. With nowhere to go and nothing to do, I started receiving regular text messages from him about riding away from all this bullshit.

Revelate Updates the Pronghorn

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Revelate Updates the Pronghorn

The Pronghorn is Revelate’s ultralight, race-ready handlebar pack, for all minimalist tourers and bikepackers. It recently received an update, with an all-new material, Stratex 400, that’s lighter and more rip-resistant.

-Internal fiberglass stay provides a stable, lightweight mounting platform
-Dual cam locking straps integrated into handlebar mount secure your load
-Cam locking head tube strap with EVA foam spacer
-Removable spacer blocks to allow you to adjust for brake lever clearance
-Includes pocket clips to allow the addition of a front pocket
-Waterproof drybag built from Revelate’s new UHMWPE based fabric, Stratex 400
-Stratex 400 fabric is 60% UHMWPE woven fibers by weight
-Waterproof drybag constructed from Stratex 400 is more abraision resistant than other leading -lightweight fabrics
-Made in USA with domestic and imported materials

see more at Revelate.

Announcing the Western Wildlands Route: A New Name for the Wild West Route

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Announcing the Western Wildlands Route: A New Name for the Wild West Route

The Western Wildlands Route as seen from the Paria Plateau in northern Arizona, traditional homelands of the Ute, Southern Paiute, Pueblo, Hopi, and Diné Tribes.

At Bikepacking Roots, our mission includes “advocating for the landscapes through which we ride.” Indigenous peoples are an integral part of the future, present, and past landscapes in U.S. America. Thus, as advocates for a healthy, vibrant, and whole Western landscape, we are responsible for communicating and educating ourselves, our members, and the riders of the routes we design in a way that progresses Indigenous liberation from colonial trauma. With that intent, we’re announcing the renaming of the 2,700-mile-long Wild West Route to the Western Wildlands Route.

Kyle From Outer Shell’s 160mm Travel Falconer Hardtail MTB Ultra Light Loaded for the CDT

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Kyle From Outer Shell’s 160mm Travel Falconer Hardtail MTB Ultra Light Loaded for the CDT

Northern New Mexico’s section of the Continental Divide Trail is quite the experience and with its popularity, more and more cyclists are coming to New Mexico to ride 70 miles of singletrack over a 90-mile route. One of my friends, Kyle from Outer Shell, recently came through town with his Falconer hardtail to take on the CDT, so I shuttled him to Cumbres Pass and bid adieu. After his trip, I linked back up with him and shot his wild Falconer hardtail, “loaded” for his time on the trail…

Stefan Griebel and the Origin of the Colorado Trail Race – CTR

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Stefan Griebel and the Origin of the Colorado Trail Race – CTR

When I first heard about the Colorado Trail Race I was in fact riding part of the route, albeit one of the least engaging stretches. It was just ten days after I’d raced my bike for 200mi in Kansas and I’d been overly optimistic about my recovery when I’d agreed to a four-day tour from my home in Boulder through the South Platte (and on through Summit County) with my partner Tony.

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Matty and Clare: Lost Captures Trailer

Bombtrack-sponsored riders Matty and Clare took to Norway for a bicycle tour and have pulled together a full-length video documenting their travels. Here’s the trailer for Los Captures:

“Norway is a country close to Matty’s heart, a connection which only came to light after unearthing his Grandfathers previously unseen photo albums shortly after his death. They show a young and cheerful man, with a dry wit, exploring beautiful Norwegian nature by bicycle, endless gravel roads, stave churches and cascading waterfalls. All in the 1950’s. We both knew that we had to try, in some small way, to trace and commemorate his journey and visit some of the same locations and beautiful panoramas. Maybe, we dared to think, even recreate one of his images and come to find his ‘Lost Captures’…”

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Ruta Chingaza: Bikepacking for Conservation

In February, legendary ultra-endurance cyclist Lael Wilcox, Joe Cruz, and the filmmaker Rugile Kaladyte traveled to the Colombian capital of Bogota, in partnership with Conservation International, Wahoo, and Bikepacking.com, to launch the Bikepacking for Conservation Program. The project was designed to explore and scout a bikepacking route that would connect the bustling metropolis of Bogota with rural communities and the Chingaza National Park. The resulting route — Ruta Chingaza — will help cyclists connect to nature and better understand the ecosystems upon which life and livelihoods in this area depend.

Chingaza National Natural Park is currently closed to cyclists, but Conservation International is collaborating with park authorities to make cycling a part of the park’s tourism strategy, and anticipate that cycling experiences (including bikepacking) will be permitted by sometime in 2021, though it is hard to anticipate when exactly due to COVID-19. Please do not travel to the park at this time

Film shot and edited by Rugile Kaladyte

Dzil Ta’ah Adventure’s Navajo Youth Bikepacking Adventure Series:  John’s Canyon

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Dzil Ta’ah Adventure’s Navajo Youth Bikepacking Adventure Series: John’s Canyon

Recently, the Navajo Nation reinstated a 57-hour weekend lockdown due to the spikes in COVID in several communities. This put a hold on our first official Dzil Ta’ah Adventures youth bikepacking series outing in Nazlini, which was originally slated for September 26th. Once the lockdown is lifted, which we hope will be soon, we will proceed as planned with the Dine Composite participants. With the postponement of our first trip, we felt like this was an opportunity to leverage the extra time and continue to shape our mentorship program and build more of my team’s dexterity with an outing in John’s Canyon, Utah, at the southwestern base of Cedar Mesa.

Learning to Love Local: Bikepacking in the Age of Covid

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Learning to Love Local: Bikepacking in the Age of Covid

March 14, 2020, seemed like a normal Saturday ride for our group of gravel enthusiasts (the “Dirty Bird Crew”). Our route guru Brian had put together another fantastic route, exploring dirt roads and trails a short drive from New York City. Every weekend, year-round, we are out exploring the (surprisingly!) high-quality dirt roads and trails in the greater NYC area. We’ve gone out in nearly every weather condition, from swimming holes in the summer, to snow rides in the winter, and even riding across frozen lakes with studded tires when it’s bitterly cold, but nothing had prepared us for the months ahead. Drinking post-rode beers there was some talk about Covid-19 and the possibility that we may be working from home for a few days. We said our goodbyes until next weekend, but little did we know this would be our last group ride for months.

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Swift Campout Video Challenge Finalist: Trikepacking Some Assembly Required

the Swift Campout Video Challenge has been narrowed down to a few finalists, including this beautiful short from Alaska:

“Last winter Geoff purchased a Schwinn tricycle in the hopes of easing himself into riding a bike of the two-wheeled variety and embarking on health-conscious commutes to work. Geoff spent the brief but vibrant Alaskan 2020 summer familiarizing himself with his tricycle. A singlespeed grocery-getter in nature, the trike wasn’t the ideal candidate for someone’s first bikepacking steed but – a firm believer in ride what you got – I set out modifying the trike with Geoff’s first bikepacking journey in mind. These modifications included finding a home for a Hamerschmidt internal gear crankset (originally intended for Downhill MTB use) I’d had tucked away for just such a frankenbike undertaking.”

Check out more information at the Swift Industries Youtube!

Film Rolls, Two Burritos, and One Fast Mountain Trout: Bicycle Touring the Northern New Mexico CDT

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Film Rolls, Two Burritos, and One Fast Mountain Trout: Bicycle Touring the Northern New Mexico CDT

As someone who tends to spend seven months out of the year on the road, away from home, 2020 has been a welcomed change, albeit with some major adjustments. Stay at home orders in New Mexico are some of the strictest in the United States and this forced me to look to my new home state for rides and trips. Suddenly, I found myself living at the threshold of beautiful high-country riding with endless possibilities for bicycle touring and mountain biking. To put it mildly, my relocation to Santa Fe has opened up a whole world of opportunity.

It took me a while to adjust to living at 7,000′ and a big part of that adjustment has been facilitated by riding with my fast and fit friend, Bailey Newbrey. Bailey’s accolades need no introduction here and it should be no surprise to any of you that he is an incredible rider. He’s so fast that I jokingly refer to him as the “mountain trout on two wheels.”

Disputed territory, A Visit To Akimel O’odham Land

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Disputed territory, A Visit To Akimel O’odham Land

Security in México is a topic I don’t usually talk about; in order to keep myself from falling into hopelessness, I try to focus and highlight the good actions of people. Nevertheless, it’s like a pebble that you always carry in your pocket: you know it’s there, you touch it when you reach for other stuff, and although you are mostly used to it, some days it just decides to poke your leg. Adventure cyclists in the country generally have this factor in consideration at different levels depending on region and other circumstances, so here we’ll go a little over the topic but hey, there are some happy parts in this story too, for good balance.

Lael Rides Alaska: Alaskan Island Time

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Lael Rides Alaska: Alaskan Island Time

We continue our Lael Rides Alaska series with a beautiful story from a series of rides on some of Alaska’s islands. Check out more from this series in the ‘Related’ column below when you’re done reading this entry. Enjoy!

Staring at maps in 2017 on my mission to ride all of the major roads in Alaska, I was drawn in by a few remote destinations with more extensive road networks, specifically Nome, Kodiak Island, and Prince of Wales Island. In that summer, I made it to Nome and rode the three roads out of town— to the native village of Teller, to the river that leads to the historic gold mining town of Council, and to the active mining road that ends at the Kougarok River for a total of 230 miles.

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Swift Industries and the Skid Lizards Have Launched a Contest!

Swift Industries and Skid Lizards? Listen up, y’all:

“Our friends, the SKID LIZARDS, are known for Slowing Down Fast and layin’ down some of the stylin’est skid-treats in the Tri-County region (we still haven’t figured out which 3 counties they’re talking about).

They take sharing the gospel of bike-camping every bit as seriously as they take spreading the stoke of the skid. And this new short-vid drop does just that! Volume up, please.

In collaboration with the SL crew, Swift Industries is stoked to launch the SWIFT CAMPOUT VIDEO CHALLENGE! That’s right, all you campers, it’s your time to shine! We wanna see your 2020 Campout experience, the good, the bad, the ugly, the hilarious.

Capture your Campout on vid — iPhone is cool, pro gear is cool too, it really doesn’t matter. We’re looking for creativity, entertainment, hilarity, and meditative scenic inspiration here. Surprise us! One talented winner will have their project shared on the Swift IG and YouTube channels, and will receive A GIANT PRIZE PACKAGE stacked with gear ‘n goodies from Topo Designs, Kitsbow, Bedrock Sandals, Dangle Supply, Camp And Go Slow, Sixmoon Designs, Fat Tire, MiiR, Black Coffee Roasting, and Hey Hi Hello Magazine!”

*** Edit and share footy to IGTV the week of Sep 28. Deadline Midnight Oct 4! ***

TO BE ENTERED INTO CONTEST:
-Must tag @swiftindustries @skidlizards #swiftcampout #swiftcampoutvidchallenge in post!
-Must be no longer than 5-mins in length!
-Must meet Oct 4 deadline!
-Bonus points for sharing to Stories, Reels, and main feed ;)